Counter-Strike Source was covered a while ago in CPCG but we can’t possibly ignore Global Offensive. Valve’s latest instalment in the Counter-Strike series is not revolutionary, it’s an update to the series to modernise and add a few features, so more a step forward on the same path than a leap onto another.
But then you can’t really be expecting Counter-Strike to suddenly change in that kind of way as it’s pretty much already at its best. CSGO’s shooting is every bit as tight as always, the gameplay remains fast and intensely skill-based. If you’re not already a fan of the series it won’t be changing your mind, but if you are, or if you’re new (and have incredible patience), this is an upgrade you should enjoy.[drop]There’s been a graphical upgrade as you might expect, though nothing that is likely to blow you away considering the ageing engine. Textures are higher res, guns are more detailed, but nothing that’s going to amaze. The important thing is that the game is incredibly smooth and, as always, the Source engine never stutters despite your 20 deaths every minute threatening to destroy your frame rate.
The in-game interface has been improved, specifically when buying weaponry in the relevant modes. It’s a radial menu now, one that’s easy and quick to navigate once you’ve adjusted correctly. More improvements in-game come inspired by Team Fortress 2, such as dominating/being dominated by someone by killing/being killed by them many times in one round, not to mention the TF2-style camera zoom to your killer when you die, giving you the chance to take a screenshot of him by pressing F5. Naturally, the screenshots can be anywhere between “this is a blank screen, the camera is in a wall” and “Ha! He’s on fire!”, and it’s a welcome feature.
Perhaps chief amongst the new features are the new game modes, Arms Race and Demolition. The former is a gungame mode in which you’re in a deathmatch and, for every kill you get, you are given a different weapon instantly. The player who gets a kill with all the weapons first wins the match. Demolition, on the other hand, is a round based mode that has you with progressively weaker weapons after each kill, resulting in each kill being more challenging than the last.[drop2]Community is another important thing. Much like TF2, there is a server browser full of wonderful servers, many of which will be using community-made maps. I played an Arms Race on a grid-based map that had teeth hanging from above a large entry way and spikes as stairs earlier. It was a good map. I would imagine the community will make up for the missing maps from previous games in the franchise, though I’m sure these classic maps will be added at some point, knowing Valve.
So CSGO is a worthy sequel; faithful to the franchise’s fast-paced, skill-heavy gameplay, but better looking, new features, new guns, new modes and practically slick with polish. Is it worth £12? That’s up to you, it’s definitely an improved game and I feel it was worth it as I’ll be playing it for a long time.
You can get Counter-Strike: Global Offensive from Steam for £11.99 for both Windows and OSx.